Submitted by: Kenrick Cleveland

I’m curious about something and I wonder if you wouldn’t mind clearing it up.. .

Just so that I am understanding you completely.. .

Fantastic. That makes total sense. And so that I’m really getting where you’re coming from .. .

What do all these phrases have in common? Well, for one thing, they are icing on the cake of our persuasion abilities, in essence. If you look back at some of my other articles, you’ll see that we have learned to elicit criteria and create a deep rapport with our prospects and clients. Now, by adding these phrases to our conversation, we are polishing the silver, so to speak, making the conversation elegant and creative giving more expression to our persuasion abilities.

Softening statements and softening questions are the means to this elegance and finishing. We elicit criteria and there is a very basic structure for that. ‘What’s important about X? What’s important about Y? And ultimately, what’s important about Z?’


I highly recommend being comfortable with the basic structure of criteria elicitation and then moving on to the softening statements. If you’re still feeling a little hesitant, there’s no sense in confusing the process. However, once you feel an ease with your ability, start adding these phrases. It will become natural and add to the persuasion by soothing and comforting your prospects, in a way, lulling them into compliance.

‘So, I’m just curious, tell me, what’s important to you about finding a new adviser?’

‘I’m just not feeling comfortable with my current financial adviser and I’m looking for a change,’ says our prospect.

‘Absolutely. Fantastic. That makes really good sense. And just so I’m completely understanding you, what’s important about feeling comfortable with your current financial advisor?’

‘I just really want to feel safe in knowing that I am taken care of and my family is being taken care of and that my best interests are being looked after. I want to be sure that I’m being kept up to date on all changes, and right now, I’m just not finding that to be the case.’

‘I completely understand. And so I’m perfectly clear, ultimately, when you find this safe and secure feeling of being taken care of, what will that mean to you?’

‘It will mean that I don’t have to worry about my family or my family’s financial future.’

When we use softening statements, we’re putting our prospects at ease. We are showing we truly understand and are acting in full accord with their needs and desires.

I liken persuasion to being a musician. We can either go by the book, play it exactly how it is written (which, in some cases is exactly how it should be) or we can utilize improvisation. I think a combination of the two is where the best persuasion happens.. . A solid basis in the fundamentals with some flourishes of personality work to create a beautiful symphony.

About the Author: Kenrick Cleveland teaches techniques to earn the business of affluent clients using


. He runs public and private seminars and offers home study courses and coaching programs in

persuasion techniques



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